It happened. First frost. The ending of another garden season. I am always happy to welcome the first frost because I know that with it, the garden chores will be coming to an end. Trust me, by October, I am ready for them to be coming to an end! But a garden doesn't go out with a slow fizzle but with a mad dash. In preparation for the first frost, we had to get everything we could out of the garden and off of the trees. And that meant a very busy week indeed.
Lots of green tomatoes to line all the windowsills and too many too small peppers (if only they had a bit more time!). Vases of cosmos and zinnias, lemon verbena and basil, squashes both summer and winter. Digging up the sweet potatoes. Renegade beets. Too many apples to pick- many still hang frozen on their branches. All week we've been digging up and bringing in.
Saturday was applesauce making day. 37 quarts of applesauce made- and only half the apples we had picked used up. I had hoped to make at least 52 quarts (for once a week applesauce eating) but a girl can only do so much in a day even with many small, helpful hands in the kitchen working alongside her.
The children gathered 'round and dove right in to the apple chores when I first began. Adele' said "Mama, I wanna be just like you when I grow up. It's so fun to can." As time went on, one by one they eventually peetered out and scooted off to do other things, but every now and again I would find myself with some more helpers before they again scooted off. By 6:30 pm, as I was finishing off the last of the canning dishes, Adele' had come again to help with apples and was filling up the last of the jars with applesauce. Says she: "Canning is fun in the beginning but when you work at it all day, it can make you pretty tired." smile. How right you are.
I had hoped to fill up many more buckets of apples before frost so that when we host a church picnic in a few weeks, we could have a cider-making party at the same time. The rest of the apples we never sauced will go for the cider but the yield won't be nearly as substantial as I had hoped. I was hoping to can some cider for drinking later. The frozen apples taunt me.
I can never seem to get everything done that I would like and, even though this is a fact of life for every single person on this planet, it has been a constant struggle for me to accept in my own life- and probably always will be.
I don't know why I am a glass-half-full sort of girl in every aspect of life except in regard to my own personal achievements/limitations but I don't like that about myself. I tend to see the frozen apples on the tree, wasting away, instead of the jars on the counter. Maybe it is a healthy way to stay humble and prevents a person from becoming stagnant in life...maybe it is a good thing. I just wish it didn't feel so much like failing. Is this a woman thing? Is it a me thing? Is it the outworking of humbleness or ingratitude? Is it a good thing or a bad thing?